Sometimes we forget the true meaning of holidays in the chaos of the hectic preparations. We worry so much about the holiday being “perfect” that we forget to actually enjoy ourselves. On a holiday like Thanksgiving, we should be happy just to be in the company of those we love, not stressing out about having the perfect table setting. A great way to keep yourself grounded is to get your kids involved in the holiday preparations; instead of trying to keep kids out from underfoot, pull them into the settings and plans, and keep them engaged all day. Here are a few tips and ideas for how to keep them productively involved in Thanksgiving all day:
Eat Breakfast Together
We know you’ve been up since 4:00 a.m. cooking, but take a break to eat breakfast with your family, even if it’s just a bowl of cereal. You can chat about the day ahead, explain to them what they can expect to do and see, and give them their “jobs” early in the day so they know what to plan for throughout the day. It will also help focus their wandering attention since you may be confined to the kitchen for most of the day.
Plan All-Day Activities
To keep them occupied and excited for the holiday, prepare Thanksgiving day crafts to keep their little hands busy before dinner. Convert the craft table into a kids’ table when dinner is ready to be served!
Set the Table
While putting down the plates and silverware is very helpful, that isn’t all that children can do to help prepare for the meal. Have the kids design and choose place settings for everyone, giving them control over who they will sit with.
Let Them Take the Lead
Whether your family does a pre-meal toast or prayer, why not ask your kid to lead the table in saying thank you? Prepare them by going over a list of things they are thankful for or practicing their mini-toast before the big meal.
Keep the Conversation Kid-Friendly
Seriously, no kid wants to hear about your work woes. Talk about things kids care about: music, movies, or even funny age-appropriate internet memes. Ask them direct questions, but don’t interrogate them. Once you find a favorite topic, they’ll open up.